By Vivienne Pearson
Saturday nights feature strongly in rock’n’roll music, so it is fitting that The Rock & Roll Coffee Company is now open for dinner on Saturday nights.
I’ve used its formal name in that introductory paragraph. Most know it simply as Rock & Roll. The coffee part of the full name is important. ‘Coffee is where it started and is the backbone of the operation,’ says Trent Morris, the coffee-focused co-owner. ‘People come in to get their fix; they know it’s good and they tell their friends.’
What the full name doesn’t capture is the other essential half – the fresh, high-quality, super-tasty Asian food. ‘We have a really strong team of chefs,’ says Michael Collins, the food-focused co-owner. ‘If we’re doing a classic we get it authentic, but the chefs are encouraged to come up with specials that have a twist. Because we know the rules, we can break them.’
So why the name Rock & Roll? It is about music (though far more diverse than classic rock’n’roll). ‘It varies each day,’ says Trent. ‘What to play when is an intuitive thing.’
The name is also informed by hospitality lingo. To say that you’re rocking and rolling during service means that the place is pumping but you’re rolling with it. ‘We say: “It’s busy, let’s rock and roll!”’ says Trent.
So how are the Saturday nights, which were introduced six weeks ago in response to customer demand, rocking? ‘They’re pretty solid!,’ says Trent. Now open Wednesday through to Saturday nights (in addition to all days apart from Sundays), the team are noticing that the evenings vary across the week. ‘It’s a different world here at night-time, with lights, music and the disco ball,’ says Trent. ‘Every night has its own persona.’
Rock & Roll have come a long way in their eight years from when it was just Trent and Michael working from the front section six days a week. They now have a big back room (the old bakery space, complete with the oven façades) and a staff of around 15, including key players Tim Parsonage (manager) and Daniel Johnson (head chef). ‘Our staff are locals, not backpackers,’ says Trent, who also notes that they love training young people. ‘People stay working here for a long time because they love the job.’
Rock & Roll is usually closed on Sundays but, this weekend only, it will be open (7.30am–3pm) to offer a (relatively) quiet space amidst the Mullum Music Festival fun. A retrospective of music festival photography will be on Rock & Roll’s walls till December.
Just another reason to visit, on a Saturday night or any other time, to get your dose of rock’n’roll.
The Rock & Roll Coffee Company, 3/55 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby – that’s at the end of the little lane.
Dinner bookings encouraged. Ph: 6684 4224.
The crew performing at Rock & Roll: featuring Michael, Trent and Tim in the doorway. Photo Jeff Dawson